I was quite late to the music download party, but my experiences on that front have been good; that, combined with my desire to not run out of wall space in my house, suggests that I should start buying books electronically as well.

My initial hardware device for this will be an iPad, but I’m wondering what my preferred format should be for books that are available from Apple and Amazon but not from elsewhere. Some specific questions I had:

  • My understanding is that both formats involve encryption; is that correct, and, if so, is it possible to remove the encryption? (Googling suggests Amazon’s isn’t too hard to remove.)
  • My understanding is also that Apple uses a somewhat more widespread format, but their proprietary DRM makes their content unportable for now; is that right? (Is there an Apple-sanctioned way to read an iBooks book on a device other than an iPad or an iPhone/iPod Touch at all?)
  • Is there any way to browse Apple’s bookstore through a computer, or can it only be browsed within the iBooks application?
  • In general, are Kindle books or iBooks books more pleasant to read on an iPad, or is it a tossup?
  • Are there any other large stores for non-public-domain electronic books that I should be aware of?
  • Anything else I should be asking that I’m not?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions people provide.

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